"I started my pilgrimage at Chicago . . . " Sherlock Holmes, "His Last Bow"
I've always admired the incredible effort that Sherlockians, as individuals and as scion societies, have put into writing and publishing chapbooks, pamphlets, and the like. This has gone on for decades.
Recently, through the kindness of Don Izban, I acquired a copy of the short book Investigating Chicago, by Don and his wife, Patricia. They are Sherlockians. The late Susan Z. Diamond, who wrote the Prolegomenon; the late David Hammer, who wrote the Preface; and George Vanderburgh, whose Battered Silicon Dispatch Box published the 84-page book in 2006, are all Sherlockians of note.
And yet, the text of the book has little to do with Sherlock Holmes, a well-known former resident of Chicago whose name appears on the cover. But that hardly matters. It's a great little guide to the Windy City through the Izbans' eyes.
Don and Patricia tell how how to best spend a single day in Chicago, the best attraction (and it's free), a very special place (the Walnut Room restaurant at Marshall Field, which is now Macy's), Chicago's 10 Commandments (#1: Eat a Chicago-style hot dog), Vincent Starrett, statuary, architecture, where to eat, and where to billet.
All of this is supplemented by dozens of photos, delightful Sherlockian-themed cartoons by Paul Churchill, and a comprehensive four-page index that covers everything from "221B, The poem" to "Wrigley Field."
By now, some of this is information in Investigating Chicago is outdated. But it's still fun to read. And I'm taking it with me on my next Sherlockian foray to "that toddlin' town."